As thousands of Trump supporters marched in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14 to protest President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, trash-talking conservative operative Ali Alexander felt like he was in a moment of biblical proportions.
“I walked through the crowd and it was something out of the Bible,” Alexander said in a Nov. 17 appearance on conspiracy theory hub InfoWars. “People just wanted to touch my garment or something like that.”
A few weeks later, the coalition that launched the “Million MAGA March” on that sunny fall day has fractured. As Trump activists plan a return to Washington on Dec. 12 to express their continued displeasure at the results, Alexander’s “Stop the Steal” coalition that has spent nearly a month protesting Trump’s losses outside of election offices and battleground state houses is cracking up.
The split among the Trump faithful comes as Trump and his supporters prepare for the post-administration world, even as they insist he won the election. As Trump’s legal team faces courtroom defeat after defeat, the president’s grassroots leaders are at war, fighting for the last remaining scraps of MAGA glory before Jan. 20.
Much of the trouble centers on a fight over who deserves credit for the Nov. 14 event, with Alexander and InfoWars chief Alex Jones on one side and Women for America First—the actual event organizers and permit-holders—on the other. And it was evident during the march itself. Within the first minutes of the Women for America First speaker’s list kicking off at Washington’s Freedom Plaza, Jones and a phalanx of far-right Proud Boys seemingly acted on their own and started a march to the Supreme Court that drew away a number of audience members.
While Jones was allowed to speak at the event, earning raucous cheers that dwarfed the crowd’s reaction to Women for America First leader Amy Kremer, he later claimed that organizers snubbed InfoWars personality Owen Shroyer and prevented Shroyer from claiming victory on Trump’s behalf.
Alexander and Women for America First, a pro-Trump women’s group that describes itself as promoting “the America First Agenda,” didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Three days later, on an episode of InfoWars, Alexander and Jones were still fuming about the march, with Alexander claiming that Women for America First had “hijacked” the event.
“There is a phenomenon where people go get permits, then they take it over and say it’s their event,” Jones said.
Alexander complained that the event’s organizers had shafted Jones and other speakers.
“We did have a vendor who secured the permit and then decided, ‘Oh well, Alex can’t speak, and this person can’t speak, and that person can’t speak, and then this shill should speak, and this [Republican In Name Only] should speak,’” Alexander said.
Jones accused Women for America First of a cardinal sin in the Trump universe: alienating Donald Trump. While Trump did an early-morning drive-through of the event while on his way to a golf course, Jones claimed, without offering evidence, that the president had originally planned to make a longer appearance at the march but changed his plans after finding out Kremer was the organizer.
“Trump was coming until he learned that they hijacked it,” Jones said. “Good job, ladies.”
Alexander griped that Women for America First had failed at their job because they allowed reporters to characterize the marchers as cranks and oddballs.
“The media says ‘Oh, look at these disgusting freaks,’ because, you know, they don’t present well,” Alexander said of the march’s organizers. “‘Look at these disgusting freaks, they’re responsible for all of these patriots.’”
The feud between Stop the Steal and Women for America First has only escalated since then, even as Women for America first remains publicly silent on the spat. On Nov. 21, Alexander tweeted that the women’s group had been “unanimously kicked” out of Stop the Steal and had somehow “jeopardized the safety of those in D.C.”
As the head of Stop the Steal—an agglomeration of Trump internet personalities leading protests across the country—Alexander has become one of the most visible faces of the Trump deadenders. But he’s also prompted fierce pushback from other Republicans after hinting that angry Trump supporters could sit out January’s Senate runoff in Georgia.
Detractors on either side have found plenty of dirt to sling. Kremer’s critics have noted that during the Tea Party movement, she was involved in an elaborate legal feud with Tea Party activists, and saw a pro-Trump super PAC she ran in 2016 disavowed by Trump’s actual campaign.
Women for America First has had its own brushes with disastrous organizing. In 2019, the group tried to bus Trump supporters from across the country to Washington to oppose the president’s impeachment. When the buses failed to show, leaving disappointed rally-goers stranded, the group claimed that the charter bus company was trying to squash their First Amendment rights. But the bus company had a simpler explanation: Women for America First’s credit card was declined.
Meanwhile, Alexander’s critics have seized on his criminal record, citing arrests in 2007 and 2008 on theft, burglary, and credit card fraud charges. When conservative personality John Cardillo tweeted on Nov. 23 that Alexander was stealing credit from other activists and brought up his credit card arrest, the two began trading allegations that the other had committed various crimes.
“Should I bring that to my friends in law enforcement,” Cardillo tweeted.
“You’re a sick individual,” Alexander replied.
There have also been tensions between Stop the Steal leaders and the movement’s rank-and-file Trump supporters. On Nov. 18, Jones and Alexander led a group of protesters into Georgia’s state capitol building to protest the results. At one point, an unnamed protester with an American flag cowboy hat proposed the group refuse to leave the capitol until the vote counting was stopped.
“We’re inside, let’s not leave,” the protester said to Jones, as a visibly irritated Alexander looked on.
“If the hillbillies make up all the ideas, then we’re going to lose the country,” Alexander shot back at the man.
Jones intervened, defending the man’s right to propose a sit-in. But Alexander, for unclear reasons, continued to be angry at the suggestion.
“We’ll just lose the republic!” Alexander griped.
With a divide this deep splitting the movement, reconciliation appears unlikely. But one man is trying. On Monday, former Trump adviser Roger Stone tried to unite the warring factions in a blog post, saying that he had been talking strategy with Cardillo and Alexander, among others.
Stone conceded that there had been “infighting” in post-election Trumpworld, and urged activists not to go further.
“It remains imperative to success in these efforts that conservatives avoid forming the firing squad in a circle,” Stone wrote.
For now, though, Women for America First appears to have the upperhand in terms of organizing the Dec. 12 march. According to data provided by the National Park Service, the group—unlike Jones or Alexander—has already applied for a permit to protest in Washington that day.